A truly bizarre and telling segment from a Russian TV talk show seemingly insinuated Vladimir Putin had a hand in Donald Trump's 2016 victory.
Olga Skabeyeva is a Russian television host who has found fame abroad during Russia's war in Ukraine.
A clip from the program Skabeyeva hosts was shared on social media by a columnist for the Daily Beast, Julia Davis, who keeps an eye on the Russian media.
"Annoyed by Trump reportedly promising to destroy the Russian Federation and Putin's hegemony, state TV host Olga Skabeyeva said that Russia "will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven't decided yet", Davis tweeted alongside the video.
The start of the video shows the Russian talk show playing a clip from a Trump rally in Conroe, Texas in January this year before Russia invaded Ukraine the following month.
It is not clear when this episode of the Russian talk show was filmed, or if it came directly after Trump addressed his supporters in Texas back in January.
"The other day Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation and to destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he puts it," Skabeyeva says in the video.
One of the show's guests then chimed it and thought this was good news.
"That is excellent, if Trump becomes the next president, we will know his geopolitical goals," Alexander Kamkin said according to the subtitles on the video.
"We have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet” Skabeyeva then says.
There were varying opinions about the video, some suggested this was all the proof needed to support the idea of Trump being installed as president by Russia.
Others claims clearly the Russia's were being sarcastic and that the sarcasm did not translate well,
In the comments of the same video, which was shared on the 'Now Simplified' Instagram page, one person said they speak Russian and confirmed the transcription was correct.
However, they also said the hosts on the show "talk a lot of trash" and in their opinion, they do so for attention "because they're propagandists".
Russia's interference in 2016 election
A US Senate intelligence committee found Russia did influence the 2016 US election, with the final report determining Russia used several means to help Trump's campaign.
"Moscow’s intent was to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the US democratic process," the final report said.
An intelligence report from 2021 found it was likely Putin directed efforts to try and swing the 2020 election in favour of Donald Trump.
It does not appear as though the former US president has made any comments threatening to "destroy Putin’s hegemony". He has spoken positively of Putin recently.
He recently walked back on claims he called Putin a "genius".
"I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, 'This is genius.' Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent," Trump said back in February "sarcastically".
He said Putin was "savvy" and that Russia would have never invaded Ukraine if he were president. However, in March he changed his tune and said him calling Putin a "genius" was fake news.
"To be precise, I called his build-up on the Ukraine border before the war started genius because I assumed he would easily be able to negotiate a great deal with Russia," Trump said in a written statement in March.
Trump was impeached for the first time for trying to pressure Ukraine to investigate his 2020 Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
The effort included holding up US security aid to Ukraine and leveraging an Oval Office visit that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had been requesting.
Trump also pushed discredited claims that Ukraine, not Russia, had meddled in the 2016 election, repeatedly siding with Putin over his own national intelligence agencies.
An investigation into Russia's collusion, led by Robert Mueller found there was no evidence Trump's campaign colluded with Russia.
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